Davide Valsecchi insists that, while he is frustrated at having been passed over as replacement for the injured Kimi Raikkonen, he bears not resentment towards the Lotus team.
As official reserve at Lotus this season, the Italian had hoped to get the call to stand-in for Raikkonen – who has undergone back surgery this week – in the final two races of 2013, but instead had to watch as Heikki Kovalainen was installed alongside Romain Grosjean for the US and Brazilian grands prix.
To rub salt into Valsecchi's wounded pride, Kovalainen wasn't even Lotus' first choice, as both Nico Hulkenberg and Michael Schumacher appear to have been sounded out before the Finn. While Hulkenberg is a logical option, as he remains among the favourites to replace Ferrari-bound Raikkonen next season, neither Schumacher nor Kovalainen have raced in 2013.
"I am a bit disappointed, but I think that is normal," he told Sky Sports ahead of Friday practice in Austin, "My team is fighting in the championship, third position is incredibly important for us, so they chose Kovalainen thinking that experience and being used to being in F1 can help the team to reach third position. They went for Kovalainen because for them it was a bit more safety, a bit more guarantee of a result.
"I am not angry. To be honest, they would have liked to have signed Hulkenberg, which is normal as he is a good driver and doing a good job at the moment – but, after Hulkenberg, I was hoping they were thinking Valsecchi. Instead, they went for Kovalainen, I was hoping to beat him in the judgement, but I lost it.”
Writing his latest column for Crash.net prior to Raikkonen's decision to skip the end of the season, Valsecchi admitted that he could not be frustrated at seeing GP3 champion Daniil Kvyat promoted straight to F1 in 2014, even though he has had to play a waiting game as last year's GP2 champion. The Italian took the calculated decision to sign up as reserve at Lotus, hoping that it would lead to bigger and better things, but he has yet to run in Friday practice and the latest snub has caused him to reconsider his strategy.
“For me, it is a big loss on the sport side, but I hope, in the future, to have a chance to show my quality,” he sighed, “But, in F1, that is not easy. Last year, I was a champion, this year I am just a bit more than a normal [driver], so the feeling is not great.
"It will not be easy to recover from this position - I am the test driver for Lotus, I was the GP2 champion, I was close to having a chance, but I missed it. My career is not going in a fantastic way, but we will see, I don't know yet [whether I would be a reserve driver again], to be honest. I don't know [if I will remain with Lotus]. I have a contract signed until the end of the season and, at the end of the season, we will see what everyone is thinking. My management are the bosses of Lotus, so we will see what they decide."